Customer-centred innovation in the B2C market

After last falls’ UMIO’s brand launch, there was one visitor who went home with a surprise-gift: Frozen Brothers sales manager Nick Bölkow was the lucky winner of the Learning Voucher, good for a free half-day team session in one of UMIO’s incompany programs.

Creating impact

In its incompany programs, UMIO draws on its expertise to go beyond traditional business school disciplines in creating an impact for organisations. Small-scale, interactive learning journeys with an effective, high-level transfer of knowledge, skills, behaviour and experiences create real added value for the participants and their organisations and immediately applicable results.

Frozen Brothers choose SSF workshop

Recently, the Frozen Brothers sales team visited UMIO to redeem their voucher with UMIO’s Service Science Factory (SSF) in the form of a fully customised workshop “customer-centred innovation”. Nine participants, including Nick Bölkow and Pieter Corstiaans (General Manager Continental Europe) went into the practical details of customer-centred innovation with trainers Sabine Janssen and Gordon Miesen.

Design Thinking

The program is based on SSF’s (Service) Design Thinking method, which creatively prototypes new product or service offerings from the perspective of the end-users. It provides participants with the necessary mind-set, processes and tools to improve the innovation capacity of their organisation.

Frozen Brothers’ challenge

Frozen Brothers consists of a frozen drinks division with global brands Slush Puppie, Coca-Cola and Fanta Frozen, and an ice (cream) machines division with brands Carpagiani and Orion. Frozen Brothers cater to a wide variety of customers, ranging from movie theatres, to indoor children’s playgrounds and key leisure sites.
For Pieter Corstiaans the main aim of the workshop was to align the recently merged teams of Frozen Brothers and Slush Puppie Benelux, giving them the opportunity to learn from each other’s varied experiences and expertise.
“We’re looking to enable a change of perspective and encourage different views, also on our own colleagues, by getting the whole team together. A first plus is the very nice setting and location, not what at all what I expected from a university (small stuffy rooms – haha). A more concrete objective is developing our customer proposition from “just” selling machines to selling solutions with added value for our customers and our customers’ customers.”

Enhancing the customer experience

With these objectives in mind the workshop customer-centred innovation was built around enhancing the customer experience in the B2C market. Three teams developed their ideas independently and validated them between each other during the sessions. The best ideas were taken up for further detailing.

Expectations met?

So let’s hear from the team if the objectives were met:

Michael Adriaans (key account manager) and Rob Ophof (area sales manager ice cream) both felt triggered to take a step ahead in the customer journey and think about their customers’ customers. “Outside-in thinking becomes very tangible in this way and can offer some real eye-openers.”

Nadège Bremen (account manager Slush Puppie): “the challenges today were twofold: on the one hand developing concepts for integrating both divisions, and on the other hand renewing the focus on the customer experience in novel ways. We focused on immediately applicable, short-term actions and one of the lessons was that social media offer a lot of concrete opportunities to tailor the customer experience and engage with our customers.

Nick Bölkow: “The workshop offered us the opportunity to think outside the box and delivered some concrete handles on the challenges we face. It certainly broadened our horizons in terms of advising our customers on a broader level and finding fitting solutions.”
“Things went very different compared to standard company meetings. The way the workshop was set up ensured everybody was involved, situations were dynamic and solutions emerged with backing from the whole team.”

“A lot of companies could benefit from this”

For what kind of organisations would Nick recommend this workshop:
“For organisations on a fast growth path, who want to innovate in their markets this is a very simple and accessible way to challenge and adjust their own methods and approach. Basically I think there are lots of companies which could benefit from this.”